Leicester’s efforts in vain as Kane claims a matchball

Tottenham Hotspur 4:3 Leicester City

2014-15 spurs away

City overcame a dreadful start to get themselves back into this game, but left White Hart Lane with nothing thanks to a Harry Kane hat-trick…

Nigel Pearson made three changes to his side, with Schmeichel returning after a four month injury lay-off, and Ulloa and Nugent in for Mahrez and Kramarić.
Spurs had to make a change after just three minutes. A Vardy charge down the left was flagged offside but Walker crashed into keeper Lloris, who had to be replaced by Vorm after lengthy treatment.
However, Spurs were ahead by the 6th minute. Townsend delivered a corner from the left and Dier flicked it on at the near post. It looked like a straightforward headed clearance for Upson before Schmeichel stretched to divert it and the ball dropped kindly for Kane who couldn’t miss from close in.
At the other end Nugent’s long-range swerving shot almost caught Vorm out, but it was the home side who added to the scoreline in the 13th minute. Walker’s cross from th eright was half-cleared by Huth into the path of Kane. His shot took a big deflection off the German defender’s chest and ended up in the back of the net.
A good save from Schmeichel diverted an Eriksen shot onto the post after he had unzipped City’s defence, and prevented Spurs from disappearing over the horizon.
Instead, it was City who got themselves back in contention in the 38th minute.
A James ball sent Nugent racing down the and right and he delivered a perfect cross for Vardy to slot home at the far post.
City were the better side by this stage: Rose had to put in a fine tackle to deny Nugent and then Ulloa headed over from a corner under no pressure.
City, with Wasilewski on for Upson, started the second half in the same vein. Ulloa, in on the right, picked out Nugent three yards out, but Walker managed to block his shot over the bar. From the resulting corner Morgan was given the freedom of the penalty area to nod the ball past Vorm and level the game.
City looked the more likely to take the lead at this stage, but Huth couldn’t direct his header on target from a James corner.
It was Spurs who got another slice of luck in the 63rd minute when Nugent and Rose collided in the penalty area. It looked like Rose had at least as much to do with the coming together as Nugent but Mike Dean pointed to the spot and Kane completed his first Premier League hat-trick from 12 yards.
Kane and then Chaldli should have made it 4-2, scooping chances over the bar, before Mahrez came on for Huth.
Although City were trying to press forward Tottenham struck again with 5 minutes remaining.
Schmeichel came out smartly to block an Eriksen effort, but Schlupp was ill-rewarded for charging back to help out and the ball cannoned off him and into the net.
Still City weren’t finished and Nugent battled through the Spurs defence before sending a precise shot past Vorm, but it was too late to make a difference.

To get nothing from such a decent performance was tough, but it is getting harder to see an escape route now.

Tottenham: Lloris (Vorm 3), Walker, Rose, Vertonghen, Dier, Townsend (Paulinho 58), Kane, Chadli, Eriksen, Mason, Bentaleb. Subs Not Used: Chiriches, Adebayor, Lamela, Davies.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Morgan, Huth (Mahrez 76), Upson (Wasilewski 46), De Laet, Cambiasso (King 85), James, Schlupp, Vardy, Ulloa, Nugent. Subs Not Used: Konchesky, Drinkwater, Schwarzer, Kramarić.

Referee: M Dean. Attendance: 35,950.

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Leicester toothless against Tigers

Leicester City 0:0 Hull City

Leicester City v Hull City, Barclays Premier, 14 March 2015

Another miserable afternoon at the KPS saw City draw 0-0 with Hull in a game they simply had to win…

Nigel Pearson persisted with his five-man defence, but made two changes to the side that lost at Manchester City: Vardy and De Laet in for Simpson and Konchesky with Schlupp moving to wing-back.
If it was nominally a more attacking line-up with more mobile wing-backs, that didn’t translate into chances as City struggled to make any impression on a struggling Hull side.
After Kramarić sent a shot narrowly over the bar Hull should have gone ahead in the 15th minute.
Elmohamady teed up Jelavic for a golden chance which he somehow scuffed to let City off the hook.
Soon after that he had the ball in the net, but N’Doye had impeded Schwarzer during the build up.
Off target efforts from Mahrez and Kramarić and a Mahrez free-kick deflected wide were the only other noteworthy incidents in a half seriously lacking in Premier League quality.

2014-15 hull city home b

The second half wasn’t a great improvement.
Pearson made his first change in the 61st minute bringing Ulloa on for Kramarić.
City greatest threat came from Vardy’s strong running down the left. He won a corner, but Huth couldn’t keep his header on target.
Hull were getting physical at this stage. Dawson was booked for a foul on Vardy and then Bruce also saw yellow for clattering Mahrez. Vardy then ran almost the length of the pitch before Huddlestone, already on a yellow, brought him down to earn a red card.

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City couldn’t punish Hull with these free-kicks and when a defender was eventually sacrificed against the ten men, Lawrence on for De Laet, it seemed to make no difference.
In the closing stages of a game they could not afford to lose there was no urgency and no pressure on the Hull goal.
In fact Hull should have won the game when City’s defence were caught napping by a quickly-taken free-kick by N’Doye which sent Hernandez in on goal, only for Schwarzer to block well.

It was a woeful display from City who now need a miracle to prevent an instant return to the Championship.
Nigel Pearson’s comment that we need five wins, when we have only managed four all season, was almost as ridiculous as his descent into foul language and insults at the end of the press conference.
A shameful day all round… and no end to it in sight.

Leicester: Schwarzer, De Laet (Lawrence 76), Upson, Huth, Morgan (c) (Nugent 84), Schlupp, Vardy, Cambiasso, James, Mahrez, Kramarić (Ulloa 61). Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Drinkwater, King, Wasilewski.
Hull City: McGregor, Bruce, Huddlestone, Livermore, McShane, Jelavic (Meyler 77), Dawson (c), Ramirez (Hernandez 84), Robertson (Quinn 77), Elmohamady, N’Doye. Subs Not Used: Figueroa, Davies, Harper, Aluko.

Referee: J Moss. Attendance: 31,556.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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FOX 193 – The Leicester City fanzine – on sale today

FOX 193 – the March edition of the Leicester City fanzine is now in the shops and on sale at today’s game…

blog cover

FOX 193 features: an interview with former-City and England right back Steve Whitworth; Something Old, Something New; Fully Programmed from 1995-96; Fox Diary; the latest from the Foxes Trust; Nigel Pearson gets the Twitterati all excited; Rewind features Joey, from the halfway line; Foxed in the Head – Elusive Leicester stickers and fighting Teds that come up the school; the Chris Lymn Column; John Hutchinson applies his magnifying glass to another slice of the club’s history; your letters and Bentley’s Roof; Parting Shots our favourite photos of the last month….

all for £2…

Steve Whitworth Interview Extract

FOX: You are a Coalville boy?

SW: Yes, and that’s the way to say it too, COE-ville.

FOX: A Leicester City fan as a lad we presume?

SW: Oh yes, fanatical, absolutely bonkers on them. My Dad first took me down to Filbert Street when I was about 8 or 9.
I can’t quite remember who City played in the first game, but I do recall seeing Stanley Matthews playing for Blackpool. I also remember 40,000 odd in Filbert Street for a game against Spurs and me being passed over the heads and sent down to the front so I could see.
There wasn’t much else to do in those days but go and see City, or play football all day. Kicking a ball around, and if you didn’t have a ball a can would do. Straight from school you would go down to the park and there would be kids there from 8 to 18. Pick two teams and get on with it. You’d play down there until it was pitch black – absolutely fantastic.

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Leicester park the bus at the Etihad – and pay the penalty

Manchester City 2:0 Leicester City

Man City v Leicester City, Barclays Premiership, 4 March 2015

A goal at the end of each half was enough for Champions Manchester City to ease their way past Leicester at the Etihad on Wednesday night…

While Nigel Pearson stuck with the side that drew at Everton, the big team news of the night was City skipper Kompany being relegated to the bench.
Though with City camped in their own third and at one point having just 22% possession chances to test the new-look defence were rare.
In the third minute Bony, met a Silva’s corner, but Cambiasso cleared comfortably off the line. Other than that, a packed Leicester defence managed to restrict City to a long range effort from Toure that didn’t test Schwarzer.
But it was Leicester who should have made a breakthrough when Schlupp broke down the left only to be pushed over by Bony for a clear penalty, but referee Robert Madley waved play on.

Man City v Leicester City, Barclays Premiership, 4 March 2015

In the 25th minute they were more appeals from the visitors when Kramarić, chased a Mahrez through ball into the area and was upended by City keeper Hart, though he appeared to just touch the ball before the man.
The evening then got busier for Schwarzer  as he produced good saves to deny Bony and then Toure.
A clever lob from Silva then sent Bony clean through but he blazed his finish high and wide.
Just when it looked as though Leicester could congratulate themselves on surviving the half unscathed, some static defending in injury time saw Silva reacting swiftly to a rebound off Morgan to put the Champions ahead.

Leicester had another penalty denied them early in the second half when Kramarić was tripped by Fernando just inside the area.
This time referee Madley saw the foul but placed it outside the box. Kramarić sent the free-kick inches wide of the left hand upright.
In the 57th minute Pearson made his first changes, with Nugent and Vardy on for Koncheksy and Kramarić.
The hosts started to turn th escrew on Leicester, but some fine saves from Schwarzer kept them at bay. By this point he was flinging himself around his goalmouth to deny efforts from Toure, Kolarov and Silva.

Man City v Leicester City, Barclays Premiership, 4 March 2015

Amidst this action was one great chance for Leicester when Mahrez beat the unsighted Hart with a low shot, but he hit the right hand post.
Soon after that Mahrez made way for Ulloa, but Leicester appeared to run out of steam in the last fifteen minutes.
It was City who added to the scoreline late on when Milner found too much space in the goalmouth to prod home a Navas cross and seal the victory.
While replays showed that City should have been awarded two penalties, we are left wondering what could have been achieved with a more adventurous set-up against a side that have not been at their best in recent weeks.

Man City: Hart, Demichelis, Sagna, Kolarov, Mangala, Silva (Lampard 79), Fernando, Navas, Toure, Aguero (Dzeko 85), Bony (Milner 72). Subs Not Used: Caballero, Kompany, Zabaleta, Clichy.
Leicester: Schwarzer, Konchesky (Nugent 57), Morgan, Upson, James, Huth, Schlupp, Simpson, Cambiasso, Mahrez (Ulloa 76), Kramarić (Vardy 57). Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, King, Hamer, Wasilewski.

Referee: R Madley. Attendance: 45,000.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Leicester miss out on a precious win at Goodison

Everton 2:2 Leicester City

2014-15 everton away c

A late equaliser for Everton denied City two vital points at Goodison on Sunday afternoon…

Nigel Pearson made one change with Huth back in for Wasilewski – the same line-up as at Arsenal.
Although Schlupp forced an early save from Howard and Besic tested Schwarzer with a long-range effort it was a cagey an fairly uneventful opening half hour.
Having been set up nicely by Coleman, Lukaku then skied his shot well over; while Kramarić, always willing to have a crack, sent a curling shot just over Howard’s bar.
Lukaku then saw his shot blocked by Morgan and Barkley seized on the loose ball but fired way off target.
The last chance of the half fell to City but Schlupp became the latest player to give their shot too much altitude.

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City started the second half brightly, with Howard saving from James and Mahrez going close from a corner, and Roberto Martinez made a double substitution.
A minute later, the Toffees took the lead. Naismith deceiving Schwarzer with an oddly struck shot that found its way through a crowded penalty area.
It was now Pearson’s turn to make a double change for City, with Nugent and Vardy coming on for Schlupp and Mahrez, and the effect was the same – an immediate goal. Vardy went charging down the right and sent over a low cross. Howard got in a tangle with a defender at the near post and the ball was presented to Nugent for a tap-in from three yards.
Lukaku let City off the hook with another off-target effort from a good position, and the visitors then took the lead with 20 minutes remaining.
After a Simpson cross was diverted to Vardy he set up Cambiasso for a neat finish that had the away section celebrating wildly.

2014-15 everton away a

A win would have left City just 2 points from safety, and although they held out until the 88th minute, Lukaku finally managed to get an effort on target.  Atsu delivered a pinpoint cross from the left and Lukaku’s diving header beat Schwarzer, possibly via Upson’s head.

The gap to safety was instantly doubled to four points and although City desperately sought a late winner they had to be content with a point.
Although we might have settled for that before the game, it felt like a defeat.

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Lukaku, Naismith (Miralles 85), McCarthy, Besic (Atsu 55), Barkley (Gibson 55), Coleman, Lennon, Stones. Subs Not Used: Robles, Kone, Garbutt, Alcaraz.
Leicester: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Morgan, Upson, James, Huth, Schlupp (Vardy 62), Simpson, Cambiasso (King 86), Mahrez (Nugent 62), Kramarić. Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, Hamer, Ulloa, Wasilewski.
Referee: P Dowd. Attendance: 38,904.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.

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Leicester dumped out of the FA Cup at Villa

Aston Villa 2:1 Leicester City

2014-15 villa cup away a

City’s bowed out of the FA Cup at Villa Park on Sunday with a poor performance in front of 6,500 travelling fans…

Nigel Pearson made one change to the side that played at Arsenal, with Wasilewski in for the cup-tied Huth, so a five-man defence lined up against a very goal-shy Villa side.
Villa got off to a better start, with new boss Tim Sherwood sat in the stands and featuring regularly on the big screens, though Weimann sent their best chance sailing over the bar.
City then went close from a James corner, Wasilewski’s glancing header had Given beaten but brushed the right hand post.
In a half of few chances City’s next came on the half hour when a Cambiasso dummy made space for James to fire in a vicious shot that Given did very well to get his fingertips to, sending the ball inches wide.
Benteke got the ball into City’s net just before the break but Villa celebrations were halted by an offside flag and the sides went in goalless after a half that wouldn’t have gripped the nation.

Attacking the Holte End, and having had their first half-time team talk from Sherwood, Villa looked more likely to open the scoring, especially as City were having terrible trouble retaining possession. Delph sent a header over the bar and then Schwarzer smothered a Benteke effort.
Delph then sent a shot from a free-kick wide.
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Nigel Pearson made a change on 65 minutes, bringing Ulloa on for Wasilewski, but just three minutes later Villa took the lead.
Bacuna cut in from the left and delivered a fine shot beyond Schwarzer and into the far corner to break the deadlock and delight the home fans.
It could have been 2-0 soon afterwards, but Upson put in a fine last-ditch challenge to prevent Benteke from adding to the scoreline.
City best chance of a reply came when an Ulloa effort was saved by Given, who then blocked Kramarić’s follow-up. A few attacks were mounted to no great effect as City by now looked very ponderous and disjointed.
Villa added a second as the clock reached 90. Morgan failed to cut out the ball over the top and substitute Sinclair sealed the home side’s place in the quarter-finals after a Schwarzer fumble.

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Somewhat perversely, as soon as the game was beyond them City found the net at last. Kramarić sent an outstanding header past Given from a Schlupp cross to give City’s huge following something to cheer, but it was too late to make a difference.

The final whistle was heralded with chants of: “What a load of rubbish!” from an extremely disenchanted away crowd.
Being able to ‘concentrate on the league’ won’t fill anyone with any joy…

Villa: Given, Hutton, Cissokho, Clark, Vlaar, Bacuna (Sinclair 77), Cleverley, Westwood, Delph, Weimann (Grealish 83), Benteke. Subs Not Used: Guzan, Okore, Cole, Sanchez, Lowton, Grealish.
Leicester: Schwarzer, Simpson, Wasilewski (Ulloa 65), Morgan, Upson, Konchesky, Mahrez, Cambiasso, James, Schlupp, Kramarić. Subs Not Used: Hammond, Vardy, King, Albrighton, Hamer, Moore.
Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 28,098.

All Photos: SIMON KIMBER

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Plaudits, but no points, for Leicester at the Emirates

Arsenal 2:1 Leicester City

2014-15 arsenal away

A spirited second half performance was not enough to prevent a 2-1 defeat for City at the Emirates on Tuesday night…

Nigel Pearson made three changes to his starting XI with Huth and Upson making their debuts alongside Morgan in a three-man central defence, and Kramarić making his first full league appearance; Wasilewski, Ulloa and Nugent making way.
City adopted an up and at ‘em approach from the start in a fixture they hadn’t won since the days of Jimmy Bloomfield.
Mahrez saw his shot deflected wide, and then James’ half-volley was blocked by Bellerin.  Mahrez then went agonisingly close when his shot went through Ospina’s legs but just wide of the far post.
Arsenal then began to gain some ground and Walcott should have put the Gunners ahead when he broke clear on goal but Schwarzer pulled off a fine block.
Schwarzer then produced another save to deny Ozil but Arsenal took a 27th minute lead from the corner. From Ozil’s flag-kick Koscielny left Morgan standing as he raced to the near post for a neat finish.
Although City continued to press forward they wen tin at the break 2-0 down. Ozil’s 25-yard effort was parried by Schwarzer, but only into the path of Walcott, who fired the ball home.

Just before the hour Upson had to limp out of the action, replaced by Wasilewski, and City struck back a couple of minutes later.
After some great battling from Cambiasso on the right, the ball was worked out to Kramarić 18 yards out, who arrowed home his first goal for City.
City were the better side at this stage, but Mahrez sent a curling effort narrowly off target and then Kramarić elected to try and lob Ospina when clean through but delivered the ball straight into the keeper’s grasp.
With Ulloa and Nugent on for Morgan and Schlupp City desperately sought an equaliser, but they were contained by Arsenal’s defence and ended up with nothing to show for their considerable efforts.

The gap to safety extended to 5 points with a tough looking schedule coming up. Hopefully the FA Cup will offer some cheer on Sunday.

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Rosicky, Walcott (Ramsey 73 (Flamini 85)), Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez (Giroud 67). Subs Not Used: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Welbeck.
Leicester: Schwarzer, Simpson, Huth, Morgan (Ulloa 80), Upson (Wasilewski 59), Konchesky, Mahrez, Cambiasso, James, Schlupp (Nugent 85), Kramarić. Subs Not Used: Drinkwater, King, Albrighton, Hamer.

Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 60,032.  

Photo: Paul Coulson.

 

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